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Editor's note: due to the COVID-19 crisis, many sports leagues and special events have been canceled or postponed. Portions of this article may not apply during the crisis. If you're looking for something else to watch, check our favorite streaming services!

It's March again, which means it's time to watch March Madness! The NCAA basketball tournament is here to torpedo your productivity at work and dominate your evenings at home. But if you don't have cable, you may find that your bracket isn't the only thing frustrating you this March. Don't get mad: get one of the services or devices that will allow you watch March Madness without cable. You don't need to pay for old-school satellite or cable service to watch the NCAA tournament online! Just read on and follow our guide to learn how to watch March Madness without cable.

Here are a few of our favorite ways to stream March Madness:

  Price Channels Free Trial  
$5.99 – $85.96 68 – 88 7 or 30 days

See Offer

$54.99 – $86.96 100+ 7 days

See Offer

$30 – $70 50+ 3 days

See Offer

When is March Madness? What channel is March Madness on?

March Madness begins, as you might expect, in March. The Selection Show is on Sunday, March 15, and the tournament begins two days later. Things wrap up on April.

CBS and the Turner networks are the home of March Madness this year, so when we talk about how to watch the NCAA tournament without cable, we're talking about finding ways to watch CBS, TBS, TNT, and TruTV.

Here's your cheat sheet to air times and channels for some of the biggest moments:

  • The Selection Show: March 15 at TBD on TBS
  • First Four: March 17-18 on CBS, TBS, TNT, and TruTV
  • First round: March 19-20 on CBS, TBS, TNT, and TruTV
  • Sweet 16: March 21-22 on CBS and TBS
  • Elite Eight: March 26-27 on CBS and TBS
  • Final Four: April 4 at TBD on TBS
  • National Championship: April 6 at TBD on TBS

How to Watch March Madness Online and Over the Air Without Cable

As we just covered above, learning how to watch March Madness without cable means learning how to watch a few particular channels without cable. Those channels are CBS, TBS, TNT, and TruTV.

As it happens, we've written articles on how to watch those channels without cable. Click on the respective channels for an in-depth dive into how to watch CBS, TBS, TNT, and TruTV without cable — or simply read on, because we'll cover all of them together below.

Most of the services we're about to talk about are live TV streaming services, or “skinny bundles.” They are pay TV services, sort of like cable and satellite, only they're designed with cord cutters in mind. That means that they offer a slimmed-down selection of channels at a much more appealing price point, and that they stream online on a whole bunch of different devices.

We'll also cover free over-the-air TV, which makes a great way to watch CBS (CBS doesn't have the championship game this year, but it will still have some big moments).

Not all of these solutions offer every channel we need, but we'll be sure to make it clear which ones offer which channels.

That's enough of an introduction! Let's learn how to watch the NCAA basketball tournament without cable.

Stream March Madness for free with Hulu

Free Trial

Hulu's live TV streaming service features live streams of CBS, TBS, TNT, and TruTV. That makes it a pretty appealing package for fans of March Madness. Check out a free trial and stream the games for a week before you commit to the affordable monthly rate!

Stream March Madness for free with fuboTV

Free Trial

The fuboTV team considers its skinny bundle offering to be the best option for sports lovers. During March Madness, they might just be right about that. fuboTV has a ton of sports-focused channels, and it also has all of the networks that will air the madness this March: CBS, TBS, TNT, and TruTV are all accounted for. You can test out fuboTV using the service's free trial offer, which you can access via the link in this section.

Stream March Madness with Sling TV

Try It

Sling TV doesn't have CBS, but that's not necessarily a deal-breaker. You can get CBS for free over the air (more on that in a moment) and, besides, the Final Four and the championship game aren't even on CBS this year — they're on TBS. Sling TV has TBS, TNT, and TruTV, making it a solid option for 2020 tournament viewing.

AT&T TV Now

AT&T TV Now has a lot of great channels on offer. Fortunately for fans of March Madness, the channel lineup includes every channel we need in order to enjoy the 2020 NCAA Tournament: namely, CBS, TBS, TNT, and TruTV

YouTube TV

YouTube TV is Google's skinny bundle offering, and it includes live streams of CBS, TBS, TNT, and TruTV. Combine that with a stellar app and lots of other good channels to watch, and you have a live TV streaming service that should be high on any college basketball fan's list.

Free over-the-air TV

CBS is a broadcast television network, and experienced cord cutters know that this means you can get it for free in many areas with an over-the-air antenna. That's a little less exciting this year, since the National Championship and Final Four games are on network TV, but there will still be plenty that's worth watching on CBS. This is the most affordable way to watch March Madness without cable, so don't neglect it!

CBS All Access

CBS may not have the National Championship or Final Four games this year, but they still have lots of good stuff, and that means that CBS All Access belongs in any article telling you how to watch March Madness without cable. CBS All Access features a CBS live stream — and therefore an NCAA tournament live stream — in select markets. The service starts things off with a nice week-long free trial.

Can I watch March Madness on Roku, Fire TV, Apple TV, or Chromecast?

When it comes to big basketball action, you need a big screen. And we wouldn't have dreamed of showing you how to stream the NCAA tournament if you weren't able to do so on your TV.

Roku users can enjoy March Madness using Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, Sling TV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV.

Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, Sling TV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV all work on Fire TV devices.

Apple TV users can choose between Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, Sling TV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV.

Android TV has apps for Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, Sling TV, and YouTube TV.

Mobile streaming is an option, too: Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, Sling TV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV have apps for both iOS and Android devices.

Hulu + Live TV, fuboTV, Sling TV, AT&T TV Now, and YouTube TV all work on computers, too.

Hulu + Live TV and Sling TV offer apps for Xbox One. Hulu + Live TV works on PlayStation 4.

CBS All Access offers apps for many of these platforms, too, including Roku, Fire TV, iOS, Android, and PC/Mac.

As for free over-the-air TV, it's on your big screen by default. But if you want to turn that OTA content into streaming content, use an OTA DVR.

2 thoughts on “How to Watch March Madness Without Cable

  1. Avatar Faye says:

    You can watch all the games on the Internet. Use an incognito window of Chrome so you don’t get timed out.

  2. Avatar Kathleen Phillips says:

    What about the women’s games? Always left out!

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